Tanim finally broke the kiss, his lips lingering on Daren’s for a brief moment before he pulled away. The younger boy had gone stiff, his whole body tense, and he sucked in a shuddering breath as Tanim’s hands slid off of his skin. Their eyes met for a single second before they both glanced away, shame building a wall between them. Licking his lips, Tanim savored his brother’s strange taste. Daren tasted like bitter wine, like heartache and loneliness and cold. Tanim found himself longing for the warmth of the boy’s lips on his again. The desire was at once overwhelming and yet incredibly disgusting, revolting. How could he feel this way about his own flesh and blood? About a boy he had grown up with?

But… how could he deny how deeply he did feel like this? How could he ignore that longing? The voice that screamed that this was love, and not just some perverted attraction?

He couldn’t ignore it. It was that simple.

So which side was right….?

“Daren, I–” Tanim reached out, hesitating, regretting. The younger boy shook his head, taking a trembling step back. He hugged his arms around his thin body tightly, his dark eyes trained on the ground to avoid Tanim’s gaze. Shame was written all over his slumped, dejected stance.

“Tanim, t-this is wrong, this…. this is sick…” He swallowed awkwardly, fighting around the cold lump in his throat. “You’re my brother…

Tanim closed the gap between them, laying a gentle hand on Daren’s cheek. The boy did not pull away, but he did not look up, either. Tanim sighed softly and ran his fingers through his brother’s silky hair lovingly.

“Daren…” He bent his head down, whispering softly in the boy’s ear. “I love you. I love you. How can something like that be wrong…?” Tanim brushed his lips lightly over Daren’s cheek and felt his younger brother tremble beneath his touch.

“T-Tanim…”

Tanim slipped his arms around the boy’s thin waist, pulling him close in a way he would normally have never dared to.

“I love you, Daren…” he whispered breathlessly, meeting his brother’s lips with his in a tender, almost apologetic kiss. There was a moment of hesitation, a single heartbeat of questioning, but the younger boy returned the kiss with passion.

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